by James Roberts (Writer), James Raiz (Artist), Josh Burcham (Colorist)

The Story
: ”Lost Light: The Movie” starring the crew of the Lost Light!

The Review: Humor isn’t the easiest thing to write. No matter how funny any creative team think they are, there’s a certain sense of timing and a pre-established knowledge of the humor material that is needed in order for anything to produce laughs. Some books may create a line or two that may cause chuckles or amusement, yet comedy that actually do make people laugh is actually pretty hard.

Well, it seems that James Roberts can very well proclaim that he can actually do comedy well, as this transition issue before the big crossover event is a fun and laugh-worthy entry to this series as the writer continues what he does great: characterization.

Simply put, Roberts let the character speak for themselves as the context of a sort-of documentary film allows for some kind of study in how most of the crew of the Lost Light are pretty dysfunctional. Close to every important characters from this series get to appear here, with some funny lines that adds to the whole experience. The jokes are not only a bonus here, as they are the key to what makes the issue works as they not only bring laughs, but characterization as well.

There are indeed a lot of noteworthy moments where Roberts included little gems that delves deeper into each characters during this ”film”, like why Rewind named it ”Little Victories”, why Rung seems to have this kind of attitude toward ships and why he never changed forms among other things. The sort of time capsule approach the whole issue has not only makes some of the development of some characters look as good as when they occurred, like when Tailgate was still lying about his previous job or when Drift was on the ship, but he also seems to just get who these characters are deep down. This kind of mix of solid, serious characterization and straight up comedy really do bring a lot of the title’s strength to the surface.

The comic isn’t just jokes and character moments, though, as there are plenty of plot threads running through the issue. They are rather comedic in tone, to be sure, yet they still do follow a certain progression that allows for each of them to be introduced, developed and concluded in the span of 22 pages. Despite the absence of the main plotline, MTMTE manages to include more events in this issue than some does in an entire arc, which is highly commendable. Most of them are pretty fun too, with how Whirl might have wrecked an entire conflict with one move, how Swerve and his pals wishes to find out the alternate form of Rung and so on manage to catch on rather quickly.

Perhaps the only subplot that wasn’t exactly handled in a way that felt truly funny was the one with Thunderclash, a character that is shown as being a paragon of virtue and everything that it entails. While the exaggeration of his qualities and how Rodimus gets annoyed by this makes for some good moments, the joke rapidly gets old as it overstays its welcome. It does allow for some o the plot threads to get resolved efficiently, yet it’s perhaps one of the weaker elements of this issue.

Despite this minor annoyance, there is a lot to like in this issue, like the artist replacing Alex Milne, James Raiz. While his style is definitely different from Milne’s kinetic approach to action, Raiz does a very nice job with his characters and with some of the various elements at play here. There isn’t an avalanche of details in his panels, which suits a more personal issue like this one a bit better, yet what doesn’t really suit this issue are the thick lines and the heavy use of shadows. Raiz’s technique is great, yet tonally it doesn’t really suit it that much. Still as it may, the characters all look distinct, the expressions are diverse and genuine-looking and the panel flow is great at times. It may be weird at times, yet there’s no denying that Raiz possess some serious skills and that he managed to bring the visuals this issue needed.

Josh Burcham could be credited with this as well, as the rich colorization is brought forth to match the tone. Despite the darker lines of Raiz, Burcham does his best here as he brings the colorful chaos that are the Transformers and their palettes to the issue, yet does so without turning the visual balance down one notch. There is enough lighting and shadows in panels to accentuate the tone established well-enough, which helps tremendously in setting a contrast both visually and with what happens in the script. All in all, another strong effort by Burcham.

The Conclusion: Giving us a light-hearted and fun introspection of his cast, James Roberts delivers a thoroughly enjoyable issue that is accentuated by the visuals of James Raiz and Josh Burcham, despite some very minor problems here and there.

Grade: B+

-Hugo Robberts Larivière